News, views and contacts from the global telecommunications industry

Hossier Safe-T Communications System, United States of America

Key Data

Indiana's new shared communications system went online in Johnson County on March 5th 2002. The Integrated Public Safety Commission (IPSC) initially announced that construction of the first phase of Indiana's new, shared communications system had begun in February 2001. The announcement was made to more than 500 public safety officials attending the fourth annual Governor's Summit on Project Hoosier SAFE-T.

The system allows public-safety agencies such as city and state police, fire agencies and EMS professionals to communicate directly and securely with each other. Awarded to Motorola in 1999, the contract is worth $82 million. The contract also includes a long-term quantity purchase agreement agencies can use to buy mobile and portable radios, as well as a system maintenance agreement.


Launched in 1997, the Project Hoosier SAFE-T initiative was created to develop a statewide voice and data radio communications capability. The initiative allows public safety agencies throughout Indiana to voluntarily participate in a sophisticated, shared communications system while maintaining their individual autonomy.

The first stage of Indiana's network was completed in Fort Wayne and Allen County in February 2001. The 800MHz TETRA system has cost the state $13.3 million. This links the State Police and Federal Agencies (FBI, DEA and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Department); Allen County and the City of Fort Wayne; the emergency services agencies and the Indiana Department of Corrections.

The second county to operate on the statewide public safety radio system was Johnson in March 2002 at a cost of $5.3 million. The safety alert communications system covers over 120,000 residents. The next areas expected to go online are Montgomery County, the Southeast and Northern Indiana.


IPSC contracted with Motorola in June 2000 to design and install its next generation of public safety wireless communications systems. Motorola's solution includes an 800MHz ASTRO SmartZone voice radio system and a Private DataTAC mobile data communications system, which will share the same sites, towers and other infrastructure. The first phase of the system will include one master SmartZone site and five sites for voice and data communications. When complete, the system will include a total of 129 communications sites.

The long-range goal has been to create an interoperable communications platform that will enable local, state, and federal public safety agencies to communicate reliably and efficiently anywhere in the state. A statewide system was created from the ground up, including input from agencies and departments at every level. This has enabled IPSC to design a system that can not only serve a large number of local and state agencies, but also a broad variety of communications needs.


The Motorola Astro digital trunked voice system will operate in dual modes, both analogue and digital, enabling agencies to use their existing voice radios on the new statewide backbone. This capability will provide agencies with great flexibility in purchasing new mobile and portable radios to best meet their communications needs and cost requirements. Motorola's SmartZone OmniLink technology will be used to manage the system's multiple SmartZone sites. The Private DataTAC data communications system will provide public safety users access from their vehicles to local and state databases including the Indiana Data and Communications System (IDACS) for want and warrant searches.

The voice and data communications systems are designed to meet important communications objectives under the Project Hoosier SAFE-T initiative, including:

  • Site sharing to control infrastructure costs
  • Accommodating dissimilar wireless communications systems through mutual aid channels and dedicated talk groups on every existing network, enabling all state agencies to talk to each other
  • Use of state-of-the-art wireless technology
  • Communications interoperability among both urban and rural agencies on the system
  • System flexibility to accommodate new technologies and future system expansion


In addition to the state of Indiana, Motorola is installing statewide digital radio communications systems in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin.


The IPSC is a state agency created in 1999 by the Indiana General Assembly to improve the safety of Hoosiers through improved co-ordination among public safety agencies. The IPSC is comprised of representatives from local governments and every public safety discipline and is the successor to the Integrated Law Enforcement Council, which was created by executive order of Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon. The first task of the IPSC is to develop a statewide, integrated public safety communications system.